Yes, I’ve been quiet here since November 9th.
I was up until 3 AM the morning of the election, watching in disbelief, hoping with increasing futility that what I was trying to deny might somehow be some fluke – to be undone as soon as one more urban county reported its election tally.
The following morning, my brain in one of those foggy states of semi-awareness and functioning only thanks to several cups of strong French roast, I found myself on a JetBlue flight to Tampa for a long-planned week away from the chill of an approaching winter in Connecticut, now preparing for the advance of far darker clouds than even mother nature could ever generate.
In the weeks since this troubling regime was voted into power I’ve done quite a bit of thinking. I’ve been thinking about where our society finds itself right now. I’ve been thinking about how we got to such an angry place, a place where so many Americans could vote for a psychologically impaired individual with no concept of governance. I’ve been listening and observing friends of every political stripe – trying to consider their points of view regardless of the degree to which those viewpoints align with mine . . . or don’t.
My quiet time is over now. Since taking office on January 20th I have watched this regime and its leader, aided and abetted by a compliant Congress prove that my worst fears were well founded. Far beyond any political considerations, the continuous stream of outright falsehoods and the obvious weakness, incompetence, and mental frailty of the man who is the figurehead leader of this administration should give anybody pause. I don’t care if you are a Republican, I don’t care if you are a conservative. If you voted for this individual you had your reasons – perhaps political identity or philosophy, perhaps a distaste for his opponent. Perhaps you are frightened by the demographic shifts in our population and found his promise of walls and his opposition to immigration appealing. Perhaps you were convinced by the various arguments he and his handlers advanced: that America is failing, that the forces of ISIS are at our doorstep, that somehow this country will be better if we keep what is ours to ourselves, wall ourselves off from the world, and retreat into a proud nationalism that demands to be recognized as the best.
Perhaps it was some combination of all those reasons, perhaps there were others I didn’t mention.
None of them matter now.
Open your eyes.
The leader of this nation, arguably the most powerful person in the world, takes to social media on an almost daily basis to defend his fragile ego by lashing out at those who criticize or oppose him in any way with childish insults one would expect of a socially awkward pre-teen.
This regime constantly creates and repeats manufactured falsehoods to justify its actions, and when confronted with iron-clad proof of their fabrications they either double-down on their “alternative facts”, claim to have been misunderstood, or accuse the media of spreading “fake news” despite overwhelming evidence.
How can you defend this?
If you found history to be boring or irrelevant when you were in school, you missed out on a very important lesson.
Times like these are not isolated in history.
We’ve seen this before. We have seen leaders who rise to power out of their own need for recognition and approval. We have seen the regimes that form around them, populated by calculating and manipulative people who use the weakness of their puppet boss to advance their own agendas. We know the power of the convenient lie, and how quickly good people can be convinced to ignore their own eyes and ears and abandon critical thinking as long as they feel their needs will be met.
It never ends well.
If there is one thing that scares me more than the continuous stream of falsehoods that come from this administration, it is the willingness of his party and of intelligent people who should know better to ignore what is happening.
It is time to wake up.